Lauren Garrett’s STEP Reflection
For my STEP Signature Project, I took a 17-day Yoga Teacher training. In this training we learned teaching methods that create a welcoming and beneficial yoga class for everyone. This training also gave the trainees valuable skills to manage stress, conflict, and discomfort in life, allowing me to become the best person I can be.
I feel as though every aspect of my thought process and how I see the world around me has changed. In the training we talked about and practiced how to deal with confrontation with others and ourselves. Almost everyone puts themselves into a drama triangle that can worsen and last a long time. People put themselves into the category of a prosecutor, protector, and/or a victim. We all can step out of this drama triangle by admitting to our mistakes and understanding the other person’ point of view. Through this I have learned to think more about how others might react and think about something, rather than only my point of view.
I have also learned how to manage stress in this training. I placed an unnecessary amount of stress on myself through self-judgment and then finding excuses why it was acceptable to place that judgment on myself. Events and situations do not define who we are, and that was the most valuable lesson I learned. I have always thought that because of the situations I have been through in life, I was and will be set up for failure. I now view life as happening for me, not against me.
One experience during my training that lead to my transformation was our daily meditations and discussions. During several of our meditations we were asked to reflect on a few questions that forced us to dive deeper into our emotions and really question who we are. Many of these meditations and reflections brought out tears and confessions that many of the participants have been compressing for several years. Through sharing some of my experiences, I have come to realize that sharing to the group and letting go of what held me back allowed me to face my problems and grow from them.
Another experience that led to my personal transformation was during a workshop that a guest yoga instructor led. This instructor was very intimidating and often made me hide back inside the shell that I was trying to break free from. He knew how to push everyone to their limits, but in the end made us into completely different and confident people. One specific moment was when I went up to practice teach in front of him. I was so nervous teaching and being in front of him that I forgot an entire section of the sequence. However, because I made such a big mistake, I realized that it was just that, a mistake. Mistakes are not the end of everything, but the beginning of everything.
Another key aspect of the teacher training that fueled my transformation were the relationships I built during the training. Although, we were all very different from each other when it came to age and backgrounds, in the end, we were all very similar. We all have faced some type of pain and challenge in our lives and knowing that we all had our own story and our own pain allowed us to become closer as a group. I know that I would not have been able to share as much as I did with the group if the others hadn’t opened up as well. I learned that sharing is not a sign of weakness, but one of growth and empowerment.
My transformation from this yoga teacher training matters to my future in a number of ways. First, it helped me to manage my stress, and I can directly apply this to my academic career. Managing stress during the school year had been a challenge for me in the past, but now I know how to take accountability for my actions that lead to my stress, and thus, try to reduce it. Professionally, this training opens more opportunities for me in terms of employment. Many dancers struggle to make a living off of dancing alone. However, with yoga instruction on the side it adds more income and relieves some of the financial stress. Teaching yoga is also something that I very much enjoy, so being able to teach in the future is that I am excited about and look forward to.